Aeromodelling team using their drones to survey the flood area in Guwahati

The aeromodelling club of Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) is encouraging students to harness creativity, technology, and innovation in aeromodelling.

With an aim to develop ‘smart drones’ with an easy interface for common people to interact with drones, the club has developed different types of drones including ‘warehouse drone’ for warehouse management, ‘reaper drones’ for military and law enforcement, ‘ornithopter’ based on the design of birds which can be used for surveillance in tight spaces, for wildlife photography, and ‘RAVEN,’ an indigenously developed vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capable fixed-winged aircraft.

Apart from these projects, students have also developed a drone capable of firing at targets with high precision. The firing mechanism is designed in such a way that it returns to its previous position waiting for the pilot’s command for the next firing.

Sharing his experience of working on drones, Rishikesh Das, third year, department of mechanical engineering, IIT Guwahati, said: “I have always been fascinated by RC planes. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me to explore aircraft design and understand the aerodynamics of planes. The number of potential drones has excited me even more. Working on projects at the aeromodelling club is a wonderful feeling, to be able to contribute to society and find answers to existing problems.”

Set up as an informal group in 2013 by students interested in aerodynamics and registered as an official club of IIT Guwahati in 2015, the aeromodelling club has been associated with multiple events both within and outside the campus. Over the years, the club has been conducting training workshops in various fields like aircraft design, computer vision, and RC aircraft hardware. Off late, they have even managed to secure the seed fund from TIC IIT Guwahati to develop ‘reaper’ for commercialization.

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